Objective: To differentiate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from hyperglycemic ketosis due to cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (HK-CHS) in adults with type 1 diabetes.
Research design and methods: Of 295 adults with type 1 diabetes who were seen with DKA-related ICD-10 codes, 68 patients with 172 DKA events meeting the inclusion criteria were analyzed. Cannabis use was defined as a positive urine test result for cannabis. Linear mixed models were used to define HK-CHS (pH ≥7.4 with bicarbonate ≥15 mmol/L [mEq/L]), and sensitivity and specificity were calculated using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.
Results: Cannabis users had significantly higher pH (7.42 ± 0.01 vs. 7.09 ± 0.02) and bicarbonate (19.2 ± 0.61 vs. 9.1 ± 0.71 mmol/L) (P < 0.0001) compared with nonusers. The area under the ROC curve for a positive cannabis urine test result predicting HK-CHS was 0.9892.
Conclusions: In patients who present with DKA and higher pH, especially pH ≥7.4, cannabis use should be considered in the differential diagnosis.
© 2022 by the American Diabetes Association.